Access to Justice

  • September 22, 2021

    Conn. Bar Honors Trailblazing Judge's Fight Against Racism

    Family and colleagues of the late Judge Constance Baker Motley, the NAACP civil rights attorney turned influential jurist for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, on Tuesday offered remembrances and tributes to the Connecticut-born civil rights trailblazer at a Connecticut Bar Association event that included a screening of a short documentary about her legacy and life.

  • September 22, 2021

    NY Says More Funds Needed As Rent Aid Speeds Up

    A New York program to administer about $2.4 billion in pandemic rent and utility assistance has ramped up its application processing considerably, new data show, prompting Gov. Kathy Hochul to request additional federal funding.

  • September 21, 2021

    NYC Housing Court Mandates Some In-Person Appearances

    New York City housing courts on Tuesday began requiring some court appearances to be held in person — a first since the coronavirus pandemic prompted widespread courthouse shutdowns in the spring of 2020.

  • September 12, 2021

    Prosecutor's Urgings To Jurors Went Too Far, 4th Circ. Finds

    When Charles F. Plymail's attorney entered closing arguments at his client's 1993 trial for a second degree sexual assault charge, the lawyer warned the men in the jury that it was "dangerous to even look at a woman" because she could "shout 'rape' under any condition."

  • September 10, 2021

    Debate Over Immigrants' Gun Rights Ignites In 2nd Circ. Case

    As he walked down a Brooklyn block with a loaded gun in his hand on a dry, hot summer evening in 2016, Javier Perez didn't know he was about to trigger a constitutional dilemma.

  • September 12, 2021

    Proskauer Helps Reunite Salvadoran Parents With Daughter

    A Proskauer Rose LLP team led by corporate partner Jae Woo Park helped reunite Salvadoran parents with their youngest daughter after she was separated from her father at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018.

  • September 10, 2021

    Legal Services NYC Attys Protest Court Demands Amid COVID

    Employees at Legal Services NYC, the largest civil legal service provider in the U.S., picketed their boss's Manhattan apartment Friday to protest "unnecessary and dangerous in-person court appearances" in the latest battle waged by organized labor over COVID-19 safety.

  • September 10, 2021

    Pro Bono Attys Still Helping 9/11 Survivors 20 Years Later

    Thousands of attorneys across the U.S. offered pro bono legal assistance to victims and families of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and some lawyers continue to provide those services 20 years later. Here is a glimpse of these attorneys' pro bono work.

  • September 02, 2021

    How NY Acted On Evictions, Rent Aid In Rare Session

    New York tenants can expect renewed eviction protections through the end of the year and more landlords will be eligible for pandemic rent relief following a marathon state legislative session that ran well into the night Wednesday. Here, Law360 breaks down the new legislation.

  • August 22, 2021

    National Security Scholar On Legal Legacy Of War On Terror

    In her new book, Karen Greenberg, the director of Fordham Law's Center on National Security, traces how a breakdown in American rule of law after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks was supported by loose legal language and the flouting of legal norms. Here, she talks about the continued aftermath of this authoritarian turn and what is needed to fortify U.S. democracy.

  • August 22, 2021

    Covington Helps Man Settle NYC Police Brutality Case

    Attorneys with Covington & Burling LLP helped Tomas Medina, a Queens man, settle a civil suit stemming from an encounter with the NYPD in which he ended up in a chokehold and tasered multiple times. Working with The Legal Aid Society of New York, the Covington attorneys secured compensation for Medina and aimed to hold the Police Department accountable for failing to root out brutal practices including chokeholds, which were banned decades ago.

  • August 22, 2021

    Non-English Speakers Find Justice Can Be Lost In Translation

    Some courts have improved access for litigants who don't speak English, but a lack of interpreters, training, awareness and funding means that access is inconsistent, with some states leading the way while others are still in "the dark ages."

  • August 22, 2021

    Eviction Crisis Will Put NYC's Right To Counsel To The Test

    New York City has significantly increased its spending in civil legal services for low-income people during the last eight years. Now, on the brink of an eviction crisis, the city will likely spend even more to keep people in their homes, experts say.

  • August 22, 2021

    Pioneering Md. Center Takes Legal Aid On The Road

    Maryland Legal Aid recently partnered with the library system of Baltimore County to launch the Mobile Library Law Center, a first-of-its-kind traveling van where staff of both agencies offer legal resources and consultation to the area's most underserved residents.

  • August 20, 2021

    2nd Circ. Says Two Evidence-Fabrication Suits Can Proceed

    A Second Circuit panel ruled Friday that two former criminal defendants could sue police officers for fabricating evidence used against them in court without having to demonstrate absolute innocence in their underlying cases, reversing two district courts' decisions.

  • August 19, 2021

    Lawyers Act To Help Afghans Who Fear For Their Lives

    Lawyer Julie Kornfeld says her clients in Afghanistan, people who aided the U.S. government and have applied for special visas to leave the country, are deeply fearful for their lives as the Taliban seize control of the nation.

  • August 17, 2021

    NY Courts Memo Offers Eviction Guidance After Justices Rule

    As New Yorkers grapple with the implications of a recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion blocking a key provision of the state's pandemic anti-eviction law, a court memorandum released Tuesday is beginning to shed light on how cases will proceed.

  • August 12, 2021

    Supreme Court Blocks Enforcement Of NY Anti-Eviction Law

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday night granted an injunction blocking enforcement of a New York anti-eviction law, finding that a key provision allowing tenants to attest to their pandemic-related hardship in order to prevent eviction violates landlords' due process.

  • August 10, 2021

    NY Lawmakers Question Agency Head On Rent Relief Funding

    New York lawmakers on Tuesday grilled the agency head tasked with sending out more than $2 billion in federal funding to cover pandemic rent and utility arrears, as a key deadline to obligate funds nears and with eviction protections poised to expire in weeks.

  • August 08, 2021

    French Justice Minister Probe Shakes Political Class And Bar

    Éric Dupond-Moretti, a celebrity lawyer turned French minister of justice, has been charged by his own judiciary over allegations that he used his authority to settle personal scores from his past — a scandal that is making waves in the French bar and may potentially weaken two anti-corruption tribunals.

  • August 08, 2021

    Wiggin And Dana's $10M Plan To Diversify Biz Ownership

    Last year, as worldwide unrest over George Floyd's murder fueled demands for equity and accountability in multiple professions, Connecticut-based law firm Wiggin and Dana LLP publicly committed to provide $10 million in free legal services in 10 years for businesses owned by people from historically marginalized communities.

  • August 08, 2021

    Data Collection Is Crucial For Equity In Diversion Programs

    Prosecutorial diversion programs are intended to create equity in the criminal justice system by stopping the incarceration of people who have mental health and substance abuse problems, but without proper data collection, prosecutors can't ensure equity in these programs, experts say.

  • August 08, 2021

    Civil Rights Attys Discuss The Road Traveled And Path Ahead

    Eva Paterson has been a civil rights attorney for nearly five decades, but she still remembers how during the Rehnquist court there were days she got so frustrated, she considered quitting lawyering all together.

  • August 06, 2021

    NY Bill Would Extend Eviction Law Amid Rent Relief Delay

    Two Democratic state legislators on Friday introduced legislation to extend New York's pandemic anti-eviction law through Oct. 31, citing the "failure" of an ongoing state effort to quickly administer more than $2 billion in federal rental assistance.

  • August 06, 2021

    NY, Iowa Bars Honored By ABA For Pandemic Pro Bono Work

    For their pro bono work during the pandemic, two state bar associations have won the Harrison Tweed Award, a recognition given jointly by the American Bar Association and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

Expert Analysis

  • Inside The Key Federal Sentencing Developments Of 2019

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    Raquel Wilson, director of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Office of Education and Sentencing Practice, discusses this year's developments in federal sentencing, including new legislation in the Senate and U.S. Supreme Court cases invalidating certain statutes.

  • ODonnell Consent Decree Will Harm Criminal Justice In Texas

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    In Odonnell v. Harris County, a Texas federal court ordered that misdemeanor offenders could be released without bail, marking a fundamental deterioration of the Texas criminal justice system, says attorney Randy Adler.

  • Judges Cannot Rehabilitate Offenders With Extra Prison Time

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    Although they may mean well, federal judges should stop attempting to help criminal defendants get into drug rehabilitation programs by unlawfully sending them to prison for longer than their recommended sentences, says GianCarlo Canaparo at The Heritage Foundation.

  • Time To Rethink License Suspensions Without Due Notice

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    In North Carolina, one in seven adults has a suspended driver’s license, but our research suggests that many of them never received actual notice of their license suspension, or of the court proceeding that led to it, making this a fundamentally unfair sanction, say Brandon Garrett, Karima Modjadidi and William Crozier at Duke University.

  • Changing The Way We Dialogue About Justice Reform

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    Dawn Freeman of The Securus Foundation discusses why humanizing the language used to discuss justice-involved individuals is a key aspect of reform and how the foundation’s upcoming campaign will implement this change in mainstream publications and on social media.

  • High Court Should Restore Sentencing Due Process

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    If the U.S. Supreme Court grants certiorari in Asaro v. U.S. and rules that sentencing judges cannot consider uncharged, dismissed and acquitted conduct, a peculiar and troubling oddity of criminal and constitutional law will finally be rectified, say criminal defense attorney Alan Ellis and sentencing consultant Mark Allenbaugh.

  • Book Review: Who's To Blame For The Broken Legal System?

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    The provocative new book by Alec Karakatsanis, "Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System," shines a searing light on the anachronism that is the American criminal justice system, says Sixth Circuit Judge Bernice Donald.

  • High Court Should Affirm 3-Strikes Rule For Prisoner Pleading

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    The U.S. Supreme Court in Lomax v. Ortiz-Marquez should hold that any case dismissed for failure to state a claim should count as a strike for purposes of Section 1915(g), which allows incarcerated people to file three complaints free of charge, says GianCarlo Canaparo at The Heritage Foundation.

  • Acquitted Conduct Should Not Be Considered At Sentencing

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    Congress should advance the Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act, which seeks to explicitly preclude federal judges from a practice that effectively eliminates the democratic role of the jury in the criminal justice system, says Robert Ehrlich, former governor of Maryland.

  • Thank A Female Veteran With Access To Legal Services

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    Women returning from military deployment often require more legal assistance than their male counterparts, and Congress can alleviate some of these burdens by passing the Improving Legal Services for Female Veterans Act, says Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa.

  • California Should Embrace Nonlawyer Providers

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    Despite criticisms from the legal profession, a California proposal to allow some legal service delivery by nonlawyers is a principled response to the reality that millions of Americans currently must face their legal problems without any help, says Chris Albin-Lackey, legal and policy director at the National Center for Access to Justice.

  • Calif. Law Offers New Hope For Child Sexual Abuse Victims

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    The recent passage of A.B. 218 in California — extending the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases — will pose challenges for the justice system, but some of the burdens posed by abuse will finally be shifted from survivors to accused abusers and the organizations that enabled them, says retired Los Angeles Superior Court judge Scott Gordon.

  • Core Rights Of Accused At Issue In High Court's New Term

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming decisions in several criminal cases this term will determine whether certain rights of the accused — some that many people would be surprised to learn are unsettled — are assured by the Constitution, say Harry Sandick and Jacob Newman at Patterson Belknap.

  • Bill Limiting Forced Arbitration Is Critical To Real Justice

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    Real justice means having access to fair and independent courts, but that will only be a reality when Congress bans predispute, forced arbitration under federal law with the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act, which passed the House on Friday, says Patrice Simms at Earthjustice.

  • 3 Ways DOJ Is Working To Improve Justice In Indian Country

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    As both a federal prosecutor and a member of the Choctaw Nation, I am proud of the U.S. Department of Justice's current efforts to address crime in Indian Country while respecting tribal sovereignty, says Trent Shores, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

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